Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
February 7, 2010 - 1:00am

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's report to the General Assembly "reflected accurately" Israel's response to the Goldstone report, the Foreign Ministry said.

"This Israeli document expresses Israel's full commitment to carry out credible independent investigations that meet the standards of international law," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released shortly after the General Assembly's meeting last Friday on the status of the implementation of the Goldstone report's recommendations.

The statement continued: "Despite the difficult combat conditions against Hamas terrorism in Gaza, Israel took care to respect international norms and will continue to do so in the future while maintaining its foremost commitment to protecting the security and well-being of its own citizens.”

In his report submitted to the General Assembly last Friday, Ban said Israel had responded to every allegation made against it. He said it was too early to determine whether Israel and the Palestinian Authority had implemented the recommendations, since investigations were ongoing.

Ban did not offer his opinion on whether the investigations were independent and conformed to international standards, as required by Goldstone.

The General Assembly in November called on both Israel and Palestinian groups to investigate alleged war crimes enumerated in the Goldstone report. The assembly threatened to turn over the cases to international courts if the sides did not undertake the investigations properly.

The Palestinian Authority set up a commission of inquiry and provided Ban with preliminary findings, according to reports. The PA has no authority in Gaza, which is run by Hamas.

Hamas responded to Goldstone by saying it did not target Israeli civilians, according to reports.

The Israeli military conducted an in-depth investigation into its conduct and last week provided Ban with a response that included a point-by-point refutation of Goldstone's charges.


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